How Many Miles Can a Diesel Truck Last in Its Lifetime?

What do you do when you need a big truck that can haul big loads and last a long time? You look into a diesel truck. 

A diesel truck is an investment in power and time. It has the power you need to tow the big loads. And it holds the promise of lasting many more years than the typical gas-powered truck. 

If you can’t afford a new diesel truck, you may wonder exactly how many miles can a diesel truck last. After all, you need to know if you’re purchasing something near the end of its life. 

When you’re finished reading this article, you will know how many miles a diesel truck can last as well as how you can help maximize the mileage on your truck. 

How Many Miles Can a Diesel Truck Last?

Diesel truck owners can hope for a significantly longer truck lifespan compared to their gas counterparts. Experts claim that a good diesel engine can last beyond 1,000,000 miles. 

Keep in mind that this is just the diesel engine and does not take into account other parts of your diesel truck.

Truck Type Matters

The 1-million-mile quote also usually applies to larger diesel engines like what you’d find in a semi-truck or school bus. These heavy-duty truck engines such as the class 8, often don’t even need an overhaul until they’ve crossed over the 600,000-mile mark. 

If you have a diesel pickup, you can still hope for a long-lasting engine. If you maintain your truck engine and do not operate it regularly with heavy loads, you can hope for it last up to the same 1,000,000.

Most pickup truck owners buy their diesel trucks because they need the power, though. But even then, when you’re running your truck at maximum capacity often, you can hope for your engine to last 300,000 miles.

The key to reaching the highest miles possible lies in your maintenance schedule. If you maintain your truck engine, you will see some serious miles on your engine.  

Why Do Diesel Trucks Last So Long?

Diesel engines utilize their fuel differently than gas engines, making them more powerful engines. In short, the diesel engine has better lubrication and thus less wear because they’re a gear-driven engine. 

Diesel engines also use spontaneous combustion and typically have bigger, stronger components. The engineers who design diesel engines make them specifically for heavy-duty performance. 

As a result, diesel engines simply last longer, whether you’re using them for heavy performance or general maintenance. Here’s a basic tutorial on how diesel engines work. 

How Diesel Engines Work

The biggest difference between diesel engines and gas engines lies in their ignition process. But first, we need to start at the beginning. 

First, air enters the engine and combines with the fuel. The engine’s cylinders compress the fuel mixture and air, igniting them to trigger the pistons and crankshaft into motion. This motion then starts the engine. 

In a diesel engine, the crankshaft starts the vehicle’s transmission which then turns the wheels of the vehicle. The piston goes back to its original spot to get rid of the used gas through an exhaust pipe. 

In the initial ignition process, a gas engine uses spark plugs. Diesel engines do not.

Instead, diesel engines use extreme compression which generates the heat they need. This compression is called “compression ignition.” 

Overall, truck owners like diesel engines more because the engine runs cleaner and more efficiently. 

How Can I Maximize the Lifespan of My Truck? 

There are ways to increase your diesel truck life span. First and foremost, have a regular maintenance schedule. Take your truck to an expert to have your engine tuned up regularly.

Here are a few basic tips you can do outside of the auto shop as well. 

Use Fuel Additives 

Use diesel fuel injection cleaners when you fill up with fuel. This will ensure your injection system runs efficiently and smoothly. Also, change your fuel filters regularly. 

Install Performance Air Filters

You can improve your diesel engine’s performance with cold air intake kids and aftermarket air filters. These reduce the airflow restriction and filter out contaminants that would otherwise corrode your engine. 

You ultimately have more air coming into your engine. As a result, your engine will generate more power. 

Upgrade Your Exhaust System

Larger exhaust systems allow for more horsepower. If you want more power, you’ll need an exhaust system that can expel more. Thus, a bigger exhaust system helps you achieve more power with less stress on your engine. 

Upgrade the Diesel Fuel Injectors

Your fuel injector is directly related to the range of power output in your vehicle. If you upgrade to a performance fuel injector, you’ll see more power and better fuel efficiency. Special fuel injectors have a particular hole pattern that creates the most optimal fuel delivery to an engine. 

Install a Turbocharger

A turbocharger will automatically give your diesel engine more power. It works especially well if you need the power to pull heavy loads.

The turbocharger forces more air into your combustion chamber. This, in turn, gives the engine more oxygen and more oxygen means more power. 

No matter what you add to your vehicle, maintenance matters more than anything. Schedule regular check-ups for your diesel engine to avoid small repairs that turn into big damages. Plus, when you have a checkup, the technician will check all levels of coolant, fluids, and oils to ensure you don’t run out down the road. 

Love Your Truck, Maximize the Mileage

So, how many miles can a diesel truck last? The answer depends on the owner. If you abuse your truck and neglect basic regular maintenance, you’ll see your truck die quicker than the average truck. 

However, if you schedule regular maintenance calls and care for all the parts of your truck that you can on your own, you may just join the 1-million-mile club. 

Do you need your truck serviced? If so, contact us. Our truck technicians are ready to help you with all of your diesel engine needs. 

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